Remdesivir found ineffective on humans to cure coronavirus infection

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Remdesivir found ineffective on humans to cure coronavirus infection

Report is finally out

Friday, 24th April 2020

Reports were released on Thursday which showed that the experimental drug has failed to treat Covid-19 disease. The Financial Times and Stat reported the results first, which later on, was shared by the World Health Organization.


Remdesivir was given to 158 patients in Chinese trial with 79 in a control group. Due to its side effects, it was stopped early in 18 patients.


The authors stated that the drug was "not associated with a difference in time to clinical improvement compared to the control”. 13.9% of people on the drug had died while 12.8% of the patients in the control group died, which indicates that the difference is not that significant.  


Gilead Sciences questioned about the authenticity of the news which said that the data related to the effectiveness of the drug had “potential benefit”.


"We believe the post included inappropriate characterizations of the study”, reported a Gilead spokesperson to AFP, because of early termination as there were fewer participants, making statistics less meaningful. He added, “As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease”.


However, the conclusion cannot be finalized yet as there are many other large-scale trials that will give a clearer picture shortly.

A pharmacoepidemiology professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine declared, “The trial was too small in numbers recruited” and hence either risk or benefit of the drug cannot be concluded. He added, “If the drug only works well when given very early after infection, it may be much less useful in practice”.


The drug was found efficient at a hospital in Chicago where patients were the participants of a major trial. It was also found to be effective on monkeys in a small experiment conducted by the US National Institutes for Health.


The drug acts directly on the virus unlike the drugs that control the fatal autoimmune response caused by them. It imitates one out of four building units of RNA and DNA and involves in the genome of the virus, and inhibits replication of the pathogen.

There are studies going on to find out the effectiveness of other drugs like hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus disease.


source: NDTV

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